Was the world clamoring for an on-line spread sheet? What need does this serve that one can’t get from an office suite? It’s free? OK, so is this, and you don’t have to worry about net lag, and storing your data on Google’s server. Not to mention that it’s as powerful as Excel, with (at least somewhat) file compatibility. Why do they think this was a good idea?
Technology Review has some of the initial attempts to knock off Aubrey de Grey’s thesis on the feasibility of immortality (actually, indefinite lifespace is a better phrase). I haven’t read them yet, but my readers may be interested. They also contain a response to each by de Grey, and a counterresponse.
[Via the newly redesigned Cosmic Log website, which now looks a lot more bloggy, though I suspect that Alan still goes through an editor, or at least an uploader…]
Al Zarqawi may have been done in by smart dust. While it’s hard to disapprove of this particular application, this is only the beginning of this kind of technology. It will be interesting to see what kind of technological countermeasures appear in the future to allow the retention of privacy. It may be a losing battle.
This is a useful, if somewhat disgusting advance in medical technology. Another step on the road to disease-fixing nanobots. But it’s not ready for prime time, yet, I suspect. I was thinking this as I read, as well:
Gardner says the system would need careful testing. “If something this complicated goes wrong, it could be very hard to get out.”
Some thoughts, over at The Speculist. Not sure how to categorize this post, but I went with “Technology and Society.” The notion of “celebrities as proto-transhumans” is interesting.
And as a complete aside (based on a comment over there mentioning her), am I the only heterosexual American male who doesn’t find Jessica Simpson particularly attractive?
[Update a few minutes later]
Just to take the post further off topic, I also have no idea what it is that anyone sees in Drew Barrymore (though I know from experience that Michael Mealing will find this heresy).
Radley Balko has Greenpeace dead to rights on their anti-nuke demogoguery.
Ron Bailey has a report on a conference this past weekend.
The admirable Virginia Postrel writes about how she became a kidney donor:
Usually when someone is seriously ill, all you can do is lend moral support and maybe cook some meals or run a few errands. Nothing you do will make that person well. But if you donate a kidney, you can (with the help of a team of medical specialists) cure her. Who wouldn
Via Clark Lindsey, here’s one of those periodic stories that someone is working on a Concorde successor. As usual, it makes little technical or economic sense (at least the story, if not the reality).
It is full of contradictory statements, to anyone who understands basic aeronautics. Example:
Japan is trying to leapfrog ahead in the aerospace field with a plan to build a next-generation airliner that can fly between Tokyo and Los Angeles in about three hours. But a string of glitches, including a nose cone problem during the latest test flight in March, has led the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to look for an international partner.
It’s actually a potentially serious problem:
The technology for remote-controlled light aircraft is now highly advanced, widely available — and, experts say, virtually unstoppable.
Models with a wingspan of five metres (16 feet), capable of carrying up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds), remain undetectable by radar.
And thanks to satellite positioning systems, they can now be programmed to hit targets some distance away with just a few metres (yards) short of pinpoint accuracy.
Security services the world over have been considering the problem for several years, but no one has yet come up with a solution.
Sounds like a job for the hive mind of the blogosphere.